Relationships & Roles Aboard

Boat jobs: Pink or Blue? ...Violet, Meri says

My daughter (Carolyne age 9 at the time) up the mast in the bosuns chair to replace a light.In April, Betsy Morris wrote about the division of boat jobs aboard Salsa (Boat jobs: Pink or Blue? Betsy Morris’ Confession). She wondered how other cruising couples divided up the jobs and whether they were happy with the result. Marcie Lynn commented here. Following is Meri Faulkner’s response.

I have considered myself ‘pink’ where the boat chore distribution is concerned, and my husband, Jim,‘blue’. I am responsible aboard Hotspur for much of what I was responsible for back home on land: grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning, bill paying, sewing, etc…

However, I got to thinking about your article and it dawned on me… not all my jobs are ‘pink’.

I think I might fall into the category of ‘violet’.

For example, you might call me the ship’s Communication Officer. This could be construed as ‘pink’ because it requires talking, but this job falls to me because I have decent Spanish speaking skills. We have been cruising Mexico since June 2008.

I also take charge of the radio communications and acquired the general license for the HAM radio. I often volunteer for net control positions when there is a need so that we, as well as other cruisers, get accurate and detailed weather reports for our area.

In addition to communication, you might call me the ship’s Medical Examiner. We have had sting ray wounds, scorpion welts, cuts and lacerations, rashes, fevers, and fungus. And just a few days ago, I assisted another cruiser in giving her son 6 stitches in a gaping wound on his foot. And no… I was not in the medical profession prior to cruising! But, boy… do I have experience now!

I also clean the fish we catchI have taken apart the Barient winches and cleaned, greased/oiled and put them back together.

I help clean the bottom of the boat, I sand, varnish, and paint.

And, I also clean the fish we catch.

Our children are aboard, as well… our son, Tim, is almost 15 and our daughter, Carolyne, is 10. It’s funny because we are raising them on the boat to be ‘violet’, too.

Since Tim is interested in both the workings of the engine and the galley, Jim and I have our son in charge of cleaning and maintaining the outboard engines and he occasionally cooks several very good dishes in the galley. He also helps with night watches when we have crossings.

Carolyne has less adult-like chores than Tim, but she is responsible for helping with laundry, provisioning, proper trash disposal, feeding the pets aboard, cleaning the bottom of the boat when it grows grass, polishing the stainless, etc…

Have I ever changed the oil… never.

I’m afraid if I do, that will be one of my ‘violet’ jobs, too!

About Meri Faulkner

I live on a 41′ Tartan TOCK we call Hotspur and my family and I have been cruising Mexico since since we left Colorado in June 2008.

I love cruising so much that my husband and I are committed to doing it as long as we can. We plan to spend another summer in the Sea of Cortez, which we love, and after hurricane season we aspire to head to El Salvador for the beginning of our Central American tour.

Our two swabs and children, Tim (14), and daughter, Carolyne (10), are aboard, too! Other scallywags include our 13 year old pound-puppy, Bailey, and Bad Kitty, our Mazatlan stray cat.

Come visit Hotspur and follow our family cruising adventures at

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How do you divvy up the boat chores?
Does it fall along pink and blue lines?

Let us know.
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